Google anything commercial real estate and broker branding or marketing and what do you get? Tips for mailers (not kidding). How to utilize signage (make sure you include a web address, you techy person you) and social media best practice (hey maybe look at that Facebook thingy, there are people on there) tips from 2013.

More often than not, the information you find was written by someone trying to sell you marketing materials – or as we call them flyers. Of course, this is 2017 so it’s “digital” flyers. Woo, cutting edge stuff right there. And without fail it’s all about showcasing the property. It is what we are all here for after all. Lease up that fucking empty space. Sell the sizzle and close the deal. Boom, you are a deal maker GOD! What’s your personal tagline again?

Some of the more serious (because it’s in paragraph form) articles breakdown prospecting as if it were some kind of new science. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the “you must have a large network”, you must “touch” that network basic pitch. You need to have face to face meetings (of course not too many or you will be seen as a nonworking asshole) to get face to face with your clients. They will throw in the whole, “have a quick coffee meeting to make it look like you are young and hip” side suggestion. Because coffee is hip, supposedly.

Do you know the demographics of #CRE? Mostly 50 plus-year-old white males. Do you also ever notice there is NEVER a mention of any females in any of the articles? Maybe it’s just me. I guess females don’t need any commercial real estate branding or marketing advice. Do females drink coffee too? Digressing?

At some point they get to the digital world we all inhabit. It’s always treated as some sideshow you go to when things are slow and you are not out running over human beings to make a dollar. That’s really selling, right? Face paced, cold calling, phone list checking and getting to a closing phrase (you do practice those do you not? You don’t? Shame, shame on you. What kind of super salesman are you anyway? Look at those 3×5 bullet point cards again.)

While I’m at it, if I see one more motivational quote with clouds or dogs in a pic. I am going to throw up. That’s what you need to get it going? Seriously?

But you are different. You get this shit.

You live on the digital edge so you check LinkedIn to stalk like anyone else. You make sure to post your new listings or (shhhhh) price reductions. You will throw a pic up of the kids and dog (in your “feed”) to make you look real.

You will throw a few quips and tips on Twitter, you scan and read a few things just to make sure you stay up. You bitch and complain offline that it’s all shit, noise and a waste of time. Of course, when I create a list and you are not on it you send me private emails bitching because you are not on it. (I should post those line for line, word for word, with a profile pic.)

It’s a thing, I get that. Most of the #CRE world pays no attention to the digital online branding and marketing world. Why should they? It’s all about prospecting, getting face to face and closing. Why waste time doing anything else? If you are super sales you are super sales so what the fuck? Put on a clean shirt and tie, splash on some overpowering cologne and firm up that handshake.

Pay no attention to the “thought leaders” (whoever the fuck they are) who have thousands and thousands of followers. Lots of followers or a huge online presence doesn’t mean real business. It’s all fake and pointless. It’s a huge waste of time, well unless it gets you a deal somehow. You’re not sure how but maybe just in case it does don’t spend any real time away from your core shit.

You do know what this is right? Your core value proposition. That whole being an advocate for your client’s thing. Oh and the entirety of commercial real estate. Where is the line crossed that says being real in what’s termed the digital environment wrong, lazy, unprofessional or wasteful?

I think it has a hell of a lot to do with age and money. It’s old fuckers hanging on. Hanging on to relationships the only way they know how. Banging and bashing anything that looks like it just might help keep money out of their pockets. Anything that means advancing commercial real estate beyond a twenty-mile radius of their old ass.

I will admit there are but a few truly (as in not paying someone to do it for them) edgy brokers out there using any and all tools available to help not only their personal brands but the business of commercial real estate.

They don’t need anyone telling them “how to do it, or how not to do it” for that matter.

You have my permission to tell every one of the negative assholes out there to fuck off.

Don’t need my permission? I like that even better.

Hey, there are no fucking rules. No Rules!

Duke Long

Duke LongDuke Long is a twenty-year veteran of commercial real estate. He is the broker/owner of The Duke Long Agency. He is also known for writing his strong opinions about all things CRE at He has delivered numerous presentations and discussions about online CRE tech, marketing, data, and digital media. Indiana University allowed him to study real estate and the United States Air Force discharged him honorably.